The Yukon government has delayed demolition of the old Whitehorse Correctional Centre.
The territory had budgeted $900,000 for this work. But it’s now on hold, while staff with Public Works assess whether the building could be put to new uses, said Justice Minister Marian Horne in the legislature October 26.
The Liberals’ Don Inverarity asked how long this would take. “We’re not giving a date at this time,” Horne replied. “Let’s follow the process through and see where it takes us.”
Later, on October 28, Inverarity asked how much it would cost to keep the old building mothballed for the next year. He didn’t get an answer.
“The old jail was condemned. That’s why the government spent $67 million on a new one,” said Inverarity.
Public Works Minister Archie Lang responded that “the building was condemned as a facility to house inmates,” but that it could still serve other, unspecified purposes.
In fact, the building was “never condemned,” according to Chris Ross, a spokesman with Justice. But fire marshals have threatened to condemn the building, prompting the territory to spend nearly $1 million on upgrades to the decrepit facility.
The new jail is to open by December of 2011.